Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Self-Directed Learning Terms Any time you start studying something new, you realize pretty quickly that each area of interest has its own unique vocabulary. It's challenging to sort it all out, especially when individuals in each field seem to be intent on inventing new labels and terms for their own pet theories and ideas that aren't really that different from existing ones. In looking at self-directed learning, I found this very helpful list of Most Frequently Used Self-Directed Terms and Concepts, showing the main "Terms, Acronyms, and Concepts In All Books followed by Total Times Used" from ten years of research in the field:
  • Autodidactic (learning) 85 (2) Derivative 124
  • Autonomous learning 56 (2) Derivative 36
  • Learning projects 231 (149)
  • OCLI (Oddi Continuous Learning Inventory) 102 (15)
  • SDLR (Self-directed learning readiness) 188
  • SDLRS (Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale) 1299 (35)
  • Self-directed learner 436 (59)a
  • Self-directed learning 2833 (502)
  • Self-direction in adult learning 104 (2)
  • Self-direction in learning 82 (24)
  • Self-education 105 (5)
  • Self-efficacy 107b
  • Self-planned learning 118 (41)
  • Self-taught adults 109 (2)
- Jeremy [HeadspaceJ: Instructional Design and Technology Blog]
11:43:54 PM    

Recommender Systems
Stephen Downes linked to this older (1999) page on Recommender Systems in his recent paper on Learning Networks and Connective Knowledge . It pre-dates the social-software boom, but still acts as a nice overview and notes the value of recommendations in finding people in addition to movies, books and other items:
"Although currently recommender systems are mostly used for finding things, such as books and CDs, Resnick thinks that one promising application may be recommending people. You could use recommender systems to find the right consultant or colleague - or even a potential mate."
Most people sharing a learning goal in 43 Things aren't necessarily looking for people to collaborate with (although there is functionality to form explicit groups to pursue a goal together). It could be used as a sort of recommender system for finding people ("I'm looking for people sharing my goals"), but it looks to me like it's being used more as a recommender system for things you might like to do or learn. The network that emerges around a goal does loosely connect people to each other, but that may not be as valuable as the connections between the artifacts themselves: the entries outlining what their experiences have been in pursuing the same goal, why they decided to pursue it, what they hope to accomplish, how the learning helped them, pitfalls to avoid, etc.

Perhaps it's more important as a way of finding content (advice, resources, opinions, possible applications) than as a way to find like-minded people. The primary "pivot" is the goal itself, with the people associated with each goal as secondary pivots. It is interesting to find out what other goals someone is pursuing besides the one you share with them -- that function is more exploratory than the process of figuring out if you want to pursue a specific goal.
- Jeremy [HeadspaceJ: Instructional Design and Technology Blog]
11:42:44 PM    

Quality in an E-Learning Course featuring Mobile Learning. How does one determine quality in e-learning and mobile learning courses? It is important to look at the content, learning goals, user needs and equipment, learning conditions, and faculty capabilities. The following is a checklist of points to keep in mind when evaluating a course or an elearning or m-learning program. The points do not appear in order of priority or importance -- they are a starting point. [XplanaZine]
11:40:52 PM    

The Thinking Person's Sim: ExperiencePoint. ExperiencePoint.com, a developer of simulations and serious games for business and education, offers a role-playing experience that puts less emphasis on graphics and effects and more on theory and educational support. For example, Sockeyes, a game in which the player... [XplanaZine]
11:39:33 PM    

Bookmarks for collaboration.

Hey, you can use this, starting today!

diigo and del.icio.us.

You may have noticed (or you may not have) the daily bookmarks posting that has been showing up here for the past few days. It’s a list of all of the sites/posts that I have been saving to my diigo account, which in case you haven’t heard of it, is a social bookmarking tool that feels like a combination of del.icio.us and Furl plus a bit more.

With diigo, you can do most of what you can with del.icio.us in terms of saving links with various tags, connecting to other users who have saved the same post or used the same tag, and tracking either users or specific tags (or specific tags of specific users) via RSS. Even more, however, is that like Furl, diigo captures a copy of the page, so if it disappears from the Web at some point, you can access it in your archive.

But what’s really different is the diigo allows you to highlight certain sections of any Web page you’re on, and also gives you the ability to attach sticky notes to the site. Those highlights and notes are then visible should you visit that page again. But even better, if you have a diigo account and I have “forwarded” the page to you, you can see them add your own when you visit the site as well. Think digital feedback on student work.

Now while the diigo user base is much smaller than del.icio.us, quite a few people are adding some interesting links and resources. And one other nice feature is that when I add something to my diigo account, it also gets added to my del.icio.us account. By the way, C-Net has a review of diigo that highlights some of the good points.

There are a lot of applications for classrooms here, and I’ll try to expound on them the more I experiment with it. Bottom line is I’m starting to like this tool more and more, and I’m wondering who else might be playing with it.

(Image from diigo)

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Listen to this podcast Listen to this podcast [Weblogg-ed]
11:28:25 PM    
 Thursday, August 10, 2006

Looking for The Next Big Thing?

Gartner offers opinions about what to pay attention to. Some are useful for marketing, some for learning, some for both, and some for neither.

Gartner Names Hot Technologies With Greatest Potential Impact (Antone Gonsalves/InformationWeek). via InformationWeek and [Techmeme]

2:43:46 PM    

Tablet computers and recording software work well in traditional environments.

Many of us are looking for low threshold technologies that integrate well in traditional learning environments, that do not require a high degree of technical expertise, and that merge seamlessly with learning management system platforms. Here is some research data to support use of two such technologies.

Using Tablet Technology and Recording Software to Enhance Pedagogy - David Radosevich and Patricia Kahn, Innovate. via [Online Learning Update]

2:38:18 PM    

Podcasting provides better support for learning than videotape.

Podcasting audio recordings of lectures provided a better technology solution for dental students’ needs than video recordings.

Podcasting Lectures - Sarah Brittain, Pietrek Glowacki, Jared Van Ittersum, and Lynn Johnson, Educause Quarterly. via [Online Learning Update]

2:31:16 PM    

Video discussion, tagging and sharing tied to particular moments in time.

This online service will be available in September, and similar services will soon follow. I think this is potentially much more than "Flickr for video" and can see applications to eLearning.

Viddler to make moments in video searchable.

... sneak peek at a video sharing site due to launch in September, called Viddler. The company has focused on making the video publishing experience compelling and enabling discussion, tagging and sharing tied to particular moments in time. It’s a good looking system with smart features and a viable business model.

via [TechCrunch]
2:18:30 PM    
 Monday, August 07, 2006

Supporting learning in personal life: Wikia

People don't only learn in school or on the job. People with hobbies, interests in expanding their aesthetic experience, or curious about the world around them use a variety of resources for learning. (Some are calling this "informal learning" but I have some issues with that designation -- learning is learning, however it happens. But that's an argument for another post.) So now along comes Wikia, which may be an early adopter's resource of choice, beginning with travel-related information. A trend to watch ...

Are Wikis the Best Format For Travel Guides?.

Wikia, a for-profit offshoot of Wikipedia, will announce the launch of a free, editable “worldwide guide of places to go and things to do” on Monday, called World Wikia.

via [TechCrunch]

12:23:31 PM    

What is the value of face-to-face instruction?

This is the basic question behind a controversy in Arkansas, where many high school students are taking at least part of their instruction via distance learning. The state offers all of the credits a student needs for graduation, except for physical education and music, on line. Do classroom teachers actually add value? What happens to small school districts that can't compete with the online offerings? We are in a new era, and the institutions are struggling to keep up.

Distance learning takes off, hits political arena - Rob Moritz, Arkansas News Bureau. via [Online Learning Update]

12:16:03 PM    
 Sunday, August 06, 2006

Cross-site scripting issues.

Simply accessing some social software sites is now hazardous to your privacy and gives away your information to spammers.

Researchers warn over web worms.

via [The Register]
2:33:14 PM    

How to be successful delivering live online instruction.

A couple of resources for you if you are doing Webinars or other synchronous delivery.

First, The eLearning Guild published its free (you don't even have to give them your email address to get it) eBook, 843 Tips for Successful Online Instruction last December. Tips from 336 actual practitioners, no vendor promotion, and no strings attached. Discussion was not restricted to any single online conferencing tool, and most comments are purely generic and vendor-neutral.

Second, there is this article, based on experience with only one online conferencing tool (Elluminate Live). Best practices in synchronous conferencing moderation - Lynn Anderson, et al, IRRODL. Practical guidelines for the use of online synchronous conferencing software provided by session administrators and moderators. Linked from [Online Learning Update]

1:29:25 PM    
 Thursday, August 03, 2006

"Movie trailers" to promote products.

Here's an idea you could adapt to help promote your products and services. And if video production is too expensive (even with students producing it), what about Flash movies?

New in Book Marketing: Online Videos. Some large book publishers are running the equivalent of movie trailers on the web to attract new audiences...
 [MarketingVOX - The Voice of Online Marketing]

2:44:23 PM    

Does Blackboard now "own" all rights to e-Learning?

Here are three posts from other weblogs on this development.

Weblogg-ed: Blackboard Patents the LMS…The End of Moodle and Elgg?.

Online Learning Update:
  Firm sues competitor over online learning patent - the INQUIRER.

Corporate eLearning Development:
  Blackboard Patent on LMS systems

12:20:30 PM    

Can you use this?

Another geek project that might be worth thinking about. Make a portable learning environment? Send your product to customers who can't get online, or who are on the "wrong" operating system?

Build a Bootable Windows Thumbdrive.

(via Digg)
[technology filter]
12:14:14 PM    

Photosynth tool launched.

Not sure how you'll use this, but it's too interesting to ignore. Does not yet work in a browser, but maybe it will sooner or later.

Microsoft Live Labs Photosynth: This is Cool.

John F. zapped me this link to Microsoft's Live Labs' latest release, Photosynth. (He zapped it to me back on Friday, but I wasn't able to post it until this morning. Sorry, John.) This is some really cool stuff. The software basically takes a whole bunch of photos, analyzes them for similarities and then renders the whole thing as a reconstructed 3D virtual space.
[technology filter]
12:10:11 PM    
 Thursday, July 20, 2006

Marketing products through online learning.

Interesting post and observation by Jeremy, although I am not as cynical about this as he is. Providing value to people, no strings attached, is still a great viral tool. If you do it right, and don't spam those who download your content, you will do very well. (Edited Jeremy's post)

Free Training (Buy Our Stuff)

Interesting use of online learning materials for marketing products by Nike Bauer . Their current hockey-themed ad campaign focuses on off-season training, and they've included short, high-quality instructional videos for at least 60 different excercises (click "Training" in the top toolbar, then "Exercises"). They can be downloaded as well. To get a full training program ("My Regimen"), you have to register ... 
- Jeremy [HeadspaceJ: Instructional Design and Technology Blog]
1:59:41 PM    

Manage your own expectations.

Along the lines of the famous "90% of everything is crud" rule of thumb for content consumers, there is now a "1% rule" for content providers. 1% of Web users create, 10% of them comment, and the other 89% lurk. Something to keep in mind when you get frustrated by low response rates.

What is the 1% rule? - It's an emerging rule of thumb ... (Charles Ar/Guardian).

Source:   Guardian
Author:   Charles Ar
Link:   http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0…

1:55:59 PM    

A terabyte of storage for your home office.

For $900 you can store an awful lot of content. Useful for creative-type home entrepreneurs.

A Drive Big Enough to Hold a Family’s Data. Maxtor’s Shared Storage II is a network drive that can hold up to 72 hours of high-resolution video or 768,000 photos. By JOHN BIGGS. [NYT > Technology]

1:41:11 PM    

Publishing your work.

Many home-based entrepreneurs have tried publishing e-Books, with varying success. But what about those cases in which nothing will do but an actual hardbound book, or where your target audience would prefer to get an actual physical product? Now you can use professional-quality publishing software online and publish for any size market, from one person on up. Good summary of the developments and who's providing this kind of service.

Technology Rewrites the Book. New services allow print runs of a few, or just one, for customers ranging from aspiring authors to anyone who needs a bound document. By PETER WAYNER. [NYT > Technology]

1:38:26 PM    
 Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Defining expertise and messy methods

Summary post by Lilia Efimova (Mathemagenic), on the characteristics of experts and how they work. "How the world full of complexity and emergent things could be simplified to a clean-and-clear logic of a methodologically sound process?"

10:25:18 AM